The indie distribution company and multi-channel network The Orchard has acquired worldwide rights to Jeffrey Radice’s Sundance entry “No No: A Dockumentary,” the company announced Thursday, which also marks the 44th anniversary of Dock Ellis’ no-hitter in 1970.
“No No,” which will be available through The Orchard’s documentary imprint Opus Docs, takes an in-depth look at the life of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis.
The documentary premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it earned positive reviews. The film will be released by The Orchard theatrically in U.S. markets and digitally to international audiences this fall.
“Our goal has always been to share Dock’s full story with his legions of fans. The Orchard is the perfect partner to help make that a reality,” said Radice, who directed and produced the project.
While Ellis may be most notable for the no-hitter he threw under the influence of LSD, the narrative goes beyond his sports-fueled fame to focus on a personal story of successes, failures and ultimate redemption.
Ellis was an outspoken and provocative pitcher, but upon MLB retirement, he sought drug counseling. He remained sober and provided support for other drug addicts until his death in 2008. In “No No,” Ellis’s behind-the-scenes story is revealed through interviews from friends, family and teammates.
“No No” serves as Radice’s directorial debut, and he chose to emphasize the narrative of Ellis’s life, rather than solely the Pirates v. Padres game phenomenon in this sports story.
“‘No No’ is a film that showcases a larger-than-life character whose spirit, attitude, and fight against racism — not to mention his excessive drug use — embodied the Zeitgeist of the 1970s. Well-crafted, unique, fun, and layered, it is a film for everyone, not just baseball fans, and therefore, an excellent addition to our curated documentary brand, Opus Docs,” said Paul Davidson, the Orchard’s senior VP of film and TV.
The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo for The Orchard and Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.